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Pirate Queen: The Life of Grace O'Malley, 1530-1603
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Pirate Queen: The Life of Grace O'Malley, 1530-1603

3.39  ·  Rating Details ·  41 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Best selling biography of Grace O'Malley, infamous Irish Chieftain, pirate, trader and seafarer.
Paperback, 180 pages
Published December 31st 2004 by Mercier Press (first published April 1st 2004)
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Aug 13, 2008 Clodagh rated it liked it
Shelves: irish-historical
I was expecting pirate adventures but this book is no fairy story it's a great historical document set in a time during which Ireland changed vastly from a country of perhaps 60 kingdoms ruled by clan chiefs to a more homogenous colony of England ruled by the king or queen.
Grace O'Malley or Grainemhaoil is a fascinating character who got to the top of her game “maintenance by sea and land” (plundering to you and me. Arrr!) at a time when women had very little control of their destiny. She was a
Jan 16, 2014 Norah rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: John and Mary
Recommended to Norah by: Oxfam cull
Fascinating stuff, she was quite a woman! Love the references to places in Galway where we were this summer, and to Mayo where my mother lived as a child. A difficult book to follow, due to the strange, even to an Irish mind, names, the number of characters, and the complications of English/Irish history which has not even been well chronicled over the years. However it was a worthwhile read, and kept me glued to the very end.
Jan 25, 2015 Gavin rated it liked it
Judith Cook's book, 'Pirate Queen: The Life of Grace O'Malley, 1503 - 1603', is a most informative read. The book is not so much about Grace herself as it is about the era in which she lived - one which was turbulent to say the least. Additionally, and also of note, is that Cook does a remarkably good job of charting the somewhat byzantine 'quagmire' which constituted the Irish political landscape of the time, one of ever changing loyalties.

While Cook's scope of research and attention to detail
Once again i find myself expecting more from a book than I actually got, and I liken this to the last book about Grace O'Malley I read a few years ago. The first half of the book seemed to mention her only in passing, as though it were setting the stage for the second half...which it may well have been doing...but it bothered me. I found myself much more interested in the last three to four chapters. Granted, I know enough about her to know that information about her life is hard to come by (as ...more
Cecelia Hightower
Nov 18, 2012 Cecelia Hightower added it
Shelves: bill
Grace lived 73 years and had a very active and interesting life, even allowing for literary licence. She was the daughter of a clan chief, learned seamanship and navigation from her father, married at fifteen, took over command of a fleet of galleys and ruled the waves around the Irish coast for thirty years.

She was a strong woman, in a man's world, that took terrible revenge for the murder of her lover, her conflicts with men sent by Queen Elizabeth the First to rule over Ireland, spending more
Nicholas Whyte
Jan 05, 2012 Nicholas Whyte rated it liked it

Cook is a clunkier writer than Chambers, but actually has a much better political grasp of what was going on in Irish, English and to an extent Scottish politics at the time and casts her net fairly wide. Essentially this turns into a study of the micro-politics of County Mayo in the last third of the sixteenth century, and gives a deep context to the story of the glamorous protagonist. I started by not really liking it because of the style but came around
Sep 02, 2016 Sabrina rated it did not like it
I couldn't go further than the first chapter. It was filled with typos and historical inaccuracies that I couldn't overlook. She is no expert on Irish history and it shows from the beginning. Whether the rest of the book was good or not I can't say, but reading further when, from the beginning, the historical facts were wrong, would have put me in pain.
Jan 04, 2008 Cris rated it really liked it
Grace O'Malley was a contemporary of Queen Elizabeth, but oh so different. The book is part biography and part social history of Ireland with some true pirate adventures thrown in. It was a smooth and delightful read.
Feb 07, 2010 Cher rated it it was amazing
I read it for my fascination with Grace O'Malley and kinship spirit though I'm no pirate...a feminist though in the survivalist sense. Writing a bit rough and wish there was more information.
Neil rated it it was ok
Nov 11, 2012
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Judith Cook was a lecturer in theatre at the University of Exeter. She wrote several mysteries based on the casebooks of Dr Simon Forman, an Elizabethan doctor and astrologer.
More about Judith Cook...

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